7 February 2013

Rwanda: Musanze to Intensify Gender-Based Violence Fight

It was murder most foul in Gacaca sector, Musanze district, on Monday. And while neighbours were in shock, the anguish was eating into the tender hearts of Marie Reine Uwase, Oreste Ishimwe and Elisa Niyomufasha most.

The children, aged between three months and three years, had been left with no sense of belonging after their mother, Olive Mushimiyimana, was allegedly hacked to death by her husband.

With the accused now a fugitive, local authorities were left grappling with care for the children.

While their grandmother, Leya Ntanfurayishyari, is currently taking care of them, authorities are mulling over selling the runaway father's property to fend for the children.

Emmanuel Nteziyaremye, the executive secretary of Gacaca, said a house and 1.5 hectares of land belonging to the father of the children are among the property.

Nteziyaremye also said they are considering new strategies to combat gender-based violence. Among the considerations is a campaign urging women to fight for their rights.

"In most cases, women who experience violence fear to speak out. We want to change this mindset," Nteziyaremye said.

He said awareness programmes will be conducted in villages targeted at equipping women with more knowledge regarding their fundamental human rights.

Authorities said the murder of Mushimiyimana could have been prevented had information about the alleged killer's violent conduct been given on time.

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